Archive | July, 2009

Backpacker Reviews Canister Stoves

Backpacker just posted their June issue online and they’ve gone ahead and reviewed a few canister stoves for our reading pleasure. Above is a picture of yours truly fixing some pasta in Rocky Mountain on the ol’ MSR PocketRocket for a seemingly dead fellow hiker.

July 13, 2009 | Camping, Food | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Gone Hunting

LA Times:

Hunters in Montana and Idaho will seemingly become the first to legally participate in gray wolf hunts in the lower 48 states since the animals were removed last May from the endangered list throughout much of the Northern Rockies.

A quota of 75 wolves has been set in Montana, with hunting season scheduled for September. Idaho’s quota, as yet undetermined, will be larger.

The hunts will face legal challenges by environmental groups but wildlife managers in both states have argued that hunts are a critical means to prevent the predators from becoming too numerous and posing a larger threat to cattle and sheep.

Thoughts?

July 13, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

To The Hills!

Flint Hills, KS

July 9, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Support For the Pine Beetle

Very interesting article in the NYT about the support for the western pine beetle:

Some environmentalists and scientists support the beetles. While they acknowledge the severity of the problems the beetles are causing, they argue that the insects, which kill only mature trees larger than five inches in diameter, are a natural phenomenon, like forest fires, and play a vital ecological role.

“It’s not the end of the forests, and they are not destroyed,” said Diana L. Six, a professor of forest entomology and pathology at the University of Montana here, who has studied the beetle for 16 years, as she walked in a beetle-infected forest near here recently .

“Lodge pole pine evolved to go out with a stand-replacing event, such as fire or beetles, then regenerate really quickly,” she said. “When they hit 80 or 90 years of age all of a sudden the beetles become a player — the trees are big enough for the beetles to attack. They reset the clock on the stand.”

Dr. Gregg DeNitto, a forest health specialist with the Forest Service here, said the beetles were not “an exotic like the emerald ash bore.”

“This is a native insect in a native host, and these are normal biological processes that have happened for millennia,” Dr. DeNitto said.

Read on reader

July 9, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }

Waterlife

I spent the majority of my younger years in the suburbs of Chicago, occasionally making my way into the city for a day of underage beers on the train and swimming on the beaches of Lake Michigan. When I wasn’t using the lake’s Windy City side, I was at a friend’s house on the Michigan shore, spending the day high above the water lost in the dunes and running down the sand cliffs into the lake when it was time to go home. Lake Michigan is massive, more like an ocean to the eyes, with beaches better than some places on the Atlantic and Pacific. Clearly I didn’t need that lake to survive and perhaps I was doing it more bad than good with occasional boat time, but like so many lakes, rivers, and oceans, many people do rely on it for survival and, surprise surprise, the Great Lakes are polluted as can be.

Waterlife, a new documentary made by the National Film Board Of Canada, “tells the epic story of the Great Lakes by following the cascade of its water from Northern Lake Superior to the Atlantic Ocean, through the lives of the 35 million people who rely on the lakes for survival.” The spectacular website (keep the music off) for the film includes sections of video and dialogue that explain what the water actually means to these people. The “healing” section (of particular interest around these parts) focuses on the Mother Earth Water Walk, a group of Anishinabe men and women from Thunder Bay, Ontario that walk the perimeters of the Great Lakes raising awareness about water issues like conservation, pollution, and privatization. They walked around Lake Superior in Spring 2003, around Lake Michigan in 2004, Lake Huron in 2005, Lake Ontario in 2006, Lake Erie in 2007, Lake Michigan in 2008, and just recently, the St. Lawrence River in 2009.

Unfortunately the movie is only playing in Canada as of now, but hopefully it’ll come on down to the states soon enough.

MP3: Sony Boy Williamson + Yank Rachell – Lake Michigan Blues

July 9, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 3 }

Colorado

The prickly pears were in full bloom a few miles down the road from the fields of Columbine and Indian Paintbrush. I was all set to sleep in a tent right along side those handsome results of a rainy Colorado spring/summer until a neighbor volunteered their bright orange 1974 VW Camper Bus. Can you say no to an opportunity like that? Yes, you probably could, but there was no way in hell I wasn’t going to fall asleep on that plaid bed. I spent the weekend driving up and down Canyon Road, back and forth from Boulder and Nederland, hiking, watching fireworks, drunkenly sneaking up on a fast flowing creek, eating food made on planks of wood, thinking of dog names for when the time is right, and trying to figure out why I ever left for the big city.

She’s quite a lady, that Colorado.

MP3: Townes Van Zandt – Columbine

July 8, 2009 | Camping | Continue Reading | Comments { 12 }

Cutler Coast

Maine’s Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land on Wildernet:

Description – Cutler Coast has over 2,000 acres on Washington County’s “Bold Coast.” A network of hiking trails follows most of the shore. Inland, hikers pass through a diverse community of stunted spruce, heaths and grasslands. Primitive campsites may be accessed off the hiking trails.

Attractions – Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land has over 2,000 acres on Washington County’s “Bold Coast.” Visitors enjoy the five miles of dramatic cliff-bound ocean shore. Interior lowlands are characterized with stunted spruce, heaths and grasslands. Several entrances include an unmarked rough road that travels northeast from the small town of Cutler and ends at an entrance gate. Also, heading north of town is another unmarked road branching into lands severed by Ackley Stream and other small brooks. More difficult to find, is the spot northeast along SR 191 approximately 1 – 2 miles from Cutler. A small trail entrance offers access to the ground between the state road and the Atlantic Ocean. All entries lead to very remote and desolate public hunting, fishing and exploration lands.

Recreation – A network of hiking trails follows a figure eight pattern lying between several coves on the Grand Manan Channel and SR 191. The views are spectacular and serene in this quiet removed spot. Several primitive campsites are located immediately south of Long Point Cove and Black Point Brook. The sites are ocean side. Visible from the campsites is Little River Lighthouse that rests on Little River Island. This lighthouse was originally constructed in 1847. It was rebuilt in 1975 consisting primarily of cast iron and brick with a granite foundation. Also located on this island is a brick oil house, circa 1905

MP3: Cursillistas – Break My Bones (thx)

July 7, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Costa Rica

According to the Happy Planet Index (are you fucking kidding me? the Happy Planet Index?) Costa Rica is the greenest and happiest country in the world. Makes perfect sense to me. Whatever they’re putting in those rice and beans is working. Above is the beach at Hacienda Baru outside of Dominical, CR.

Read more here

July 7, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 2 }

Independence Day

I’m flying to the great Centennial State with Kalen for a few days to see some friends, eat homemade fish tacos, play with my favorite canine, Baxter, and drop by the old stomping grounds. Hope everyone has a damn good one and happy 4th of Juuuly.

MP3: Dewey Terry – Let Them Ole Stars and Stripes Shine

July 1, 2009 | Have A Good Weekend | Continue Reading | Comments { 1 }

Reincarnation

“Appealing as I find the idea of reincarnation, I must confess that it has a flaw: to wit, there is not a shred of evidence suggesting it might be true. The idea has nothing going for it but desire, the restless aspiration of the human mind. But when was aspiration ever intimidated by fact? Given a choice, I plan to be a long-winged fantailed bird next time around.

Which one? Vulture, eagle, hawk, falcon, crane, heron, wood ibis? Well, I believe I was a wood ibis once, back in the good old days of the Pleistocene epoch. And from what I already know of passion, violence, the intensity of the blood, I think I’ll pass on eagle, hawk, or falcon this time. For a lifetime or two, or maybe three, I think I’ll settle for the sedate career, serene and soaring, of the humble turkey buzzard. And if any falcon comes around making trouble I’ll spit in his eye. Or hers. And contemplate this world we love from a silent and considerable height.”

- Edward Abbey, Down The River

July 1, 2009 | Uncategorized | Continue Reading | Comments { 0 }